Time Lapse Italia, a community born out of passion [INTERVIEW]

We present hereafter an interesting chat with Marco Famà, who tells us about how he managed to realize his passion with the first Italian community dedicated to time lapse.

Time Lapse Italia

A few weeks ago we presented an article discussing 20 interesting examples of time lapse videos. Time lapse is a fascinating and growing trend, picking up more and more fans and video makers, even in Italy. Marco Famà is the founder of Time Lapse Italia, the first Italian community focused on such phenomenon.
Time Lapse Italia is an excellent example of how a personal passion can spur a project, a place where people with common interests can gather to share experiences, knowledge, opinions, ideas, their works and much more.

Marco, let’s start with the simple questions: how did you fall in love with timelapse?

My admiration for time-lapse began several years ago, after I gained knowledge about how to make some of the sequences I saw in a few documentaries. The real passion bloomed after seeing the amazing work of Josh Owens AKA Mindrelic, titled “New York City“. I was so fascinated by the beauty and perfection of those shots, after a few minutes I thought: it’s about time to give it a try at making one of mine!

Yours is the first Italian community dedicated to timelapse, which still has room for further diffusion in the Country. Why did you create it, what were your objectives?

I am a freelance photographer and I am a fan of new technologies and everything that has to do with the Web. When I noticed that the Italian Web was completely lacking points of reference for the technique of timelapse, I felt the urge to create one.
You couldn’t find a single tutorial in Italian language. Even if you did speak English, the available information on the Internet were few and fragmented.
I wanted to give the opportunity to those who aren’t that good at English, to gather in a dedicated portal, to gain knowledge, to share ideas, cooperate and make themselves known.
While looking at Google Trends results, I found out that in both Europe and the US, the interest for such technique did bloom in 2009 already. In contrast, here in Italy, in 2011 there was nothing significant yet.

Therefore, Time Lapse Italia came to life with the following objectives:

  • to spread the passion for timelapse photography, in Italy
  • to provide free resources to start producing your first professional videos
  • to create a connection between amateurs and professionals alike, allowing them to grow their skills
  • to create a platform for those few Italian businesses which make a living on timelapse, giving them visibility and a chance to takeoff

Did you stumble upon any issue while implementing your project?

Honestly I didn’t have much troubles while designing and implementing the Time Lapse Italia’s website. The only problem is always finding the time to implement all the ideas I have in mind, to make the project better and better, and promote it.
The key to success for an editorial project such as TLI is to constantly produce high quality contents for its users. Which isn’t easy, unless you are a full-time blogger.
Luckily, to date I managed to build relationships with a few trusted individuals, who are now writing articles in full autonomy; this leaves me some time to work at improving the website.

Who are the users who gathered around Time Lapse Italia? Are they all lonely freelancers who gather to share their works, or are there a few examples of co-creations as well?

The launch of the TLI Forum did really mark Time Lapse Italia as the first Italian community dedicated to time-lapse.
The daily users of TLI are of all kinds, their common denominator is a passion for photography and for nice videos.
We have teenagers with plenty of creativity – and time, sigh! – we have high school students, freelancers, amateurs and even professional video operators from RAI and Mediaset who saw in Time Lapse a stimulus for professional growth.
In average, the TLI users work alone, but do share. Thanks to the other members of the forum, each user grows on a daily basis by sharing her works, although I have seen a few calls for collaboration to undertake larger projects.

What are the examples and the application areas, present and future, that fascinate you the most?

The application areas of time-laps are several, ranging from professional to artistic and amateur. It’s a brand new way of telling a story, people like it very much and it’s kind of trendy. A few days ago, you yourself called it “time-lapse mania”: very true :)
What fascinates me the most, is how more and more time-lapse sequences are proposed with TV commercials, movies, documentaries, news broadcasts, musical clips and more.
I believe that Time Lapse Italia could represent the turning point for Italian photographers and video-makers who want to experiment with such technique, with passion and commitment. There’s room for everyone, since the market is brand new and little developed.
It should also be noted that local administrations love to promote their own territory through modern, dynamic viewpoints, such as time-lapse only can provide… well, you get the point, there are serious possibilities to capture a chunk of a professional market that is still pretty much uncharted terrain.
A few situations managed to become widely known after being featured on our website’s “Video of the Day” section (one example above all is amateur “SpeedUp Trieste“): they were resonated by editorial giants such as Il Sole 24 Ore, MSN Video, Yahoo and Tiscali.

From your point of view, what is the difference between learning such techinque from tutorials on YouTube, and learning it by taking part to your community?

There is the same difference between reading a technical book together with passionated and professional photographers, and watch alone a TV course, without any possibility of asking questions or interact with anyone.
Taking part to the community, after having learned the bases from the various tutorials available on the website, gives you the possibility of asking questions and obtain answers quickly, it also provides the feeling of belongship to a larger group, you will not miss any YouTube tutorial. Communications are both-ways, and there are many opportunities of engagement.
And then, it will only take a few hours to realize that you are surrounded by exceptional people, who are ready to share their own experiences making you feel at home. Taking part to the daily life of the TLI forum quickly becomes a pleasant experience, people gladly come back.
To date, this is my biggest satisfaction.

What do you expect from the future?

Honestly, I don’t have the gift of reading into the future!
I like to live my passion for this project on a day to day basis: its constant expansion, the people’s interest for such technique and for the website itself, the daily life with all community members.
There will be workshops dedicated to time-lapse, real gatherings that will enable our members to meet in person, to start collaborations with photography hardware vendors, and much more.
My dream? To enable some good Italian time-lapser to achieve international success, it’s bit like the success story of Beno Saradzic, which I love to tell when I want to explain how time-lapse could really change your life.

Marco, thank you and keep it up!